Sunday 26 March 2017

David McWilliams: Collapsing house prices? We ain't seen nothing yet

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

THE most comprehensive report on the Irish property market is out and it evidences the total destruction of wealth of a certain generation. According to the wonderfully detailed work done by Ronan Lyons at Daft.ie, asking prices countrywide fell by just over 4pc in the second three months of the year -- a slightly larger fall than in the first quarter.

The average asking price nationally in the second quarter of 2010 was just over €224,000 -- 36pc below its 2007 peak. The acceleration in price falls will come as little surprise, but the question now is how can a generation whose balance sheet has been so totally vaporised ever start spending again?

Back in 2007, I wrote a book called 'The Generation Game', which focused on how the generation between the ages of 30 and 40, who had got into the housing market via huge mortgages, would be financially eviscerated. This group was termed "the juggling generation" because they were trying to juggle being good parents and good workers, while still paying these huge mortgages.

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